You can see perhaps just the beginnings of the benefits of the proces So, you've signed up for your theological studies; you've weathered the storm of those early weeks of language study; you've coped with your early forays into biblical exegesis; and you've been given a sketch of the history of the early church. You can see perhaps just the beginnings of the benefits of the process of theological education creeping into your ministry - such precious minutes of it as you can grab, anyway.
But sensing a deadline looming, you go to the relevant webpage on your seminary website and discover that a strange beast is lying in wait for you: the theology essay. How do you write a theology essay? The aim of this book is to tell you how. With humour and insight, Michael Jensen, who has taught theology for a number of years in the UK and Australia, explains not only what makes for a good theology essay but what makes for good theology.
If you want to make the most of your theological education, then this book is for you.
How to Write a Theology Essay
Michael Jensen D. Phil, Oxon teaches at Sydney's Moore Theological College and longs for his students to have a deep understanding of the knowledge of God. He is married to Catherine and they have four children. Get A Copy. Paperback , 88 pages.
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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 17, Matt Chapman rated it it was amazing Shelves: reading-and-writing. Absolutely brilliant! One of those books you come away from asking, 'Why have I not read this before?! One to re-visit often when writing papers. Aug 25, Benjamin Aurich rated it it was amazing. A pithy and helpful guide. Sep 10, Kai rated it really liked it. If you're writing a theology essay, needing some practical tips and encouragement.
Look no further, indeed there is no further that you can look to. Michael Jensen doesn't offer all the tips there is to know, but enough to spur you on.
Apart from John Frame's short article online How to write a theological essay , this short book should be an essential to every student in theological seminary. Excellent resource for first year seminary students or upper level undergrad courses. Dave Burt rated it it was amazing Jul 25, Bryan Pickering rated it liked it Nov 19, Anne Hokenstad rated it really liked it Dec 30, Kaysha rated it liked it Dec 19, Justin Bailey rated it really liked it Dec 06, Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson.
The question leads me to another one. What kind of writing is theological writing? I have asked myself that question often over the years while teaching pastoral theology, theology of ministry, and constructive theology. I still ask the question every time I write a sermon. Defining the subject matter of theology is easy: Theology reflects on words—spoken or written—about God. And is a systematic exposition about conversion a better way to write about the subject than a story about a persecutor of the church falling on the ground, blinded?
Gradually I concluded that good theological writing requires the form of a poetical essay—a subcategory of what has been called belle lettres, or fine writing. At first I thought that the word essay could carry all the freight. A good essay is an attempt to find meaning. But something was still missing: an emotional quality, a passion that may not always appear in essays.
The adjective poetical was needed to complete my definition. Good poetry pays attention to rhythm, cadence, flow, melody—all those musical qualities that are at the heart of poetry. The best theological writing should combine the craft of an essay with the passion and music of poetry. Why does so much theological writing seem woefully devoid of the qualities of a good poetical essay?
It may simply be that many theological writers pay little attention to genre, and write as they have been unconsciously tutored by the examples of their professors at seminaries or divinity schools. Those examples tend to have a common source in the analytic term paper.
On Writing Essays: A Little Resource for Theological Students – Vox
It may also be that reading and analyzing classical theological texts instills the values of logical entailment and scholarly caution that impede writing in the style of a poetical essay. If a writer is hyper-aware about possible objections to something said, the writing suffers, dying the death of small claims and defensive qualifications.
The essay of poetic exploration gives way, yielding to the system. As a teacher of theology and an advocate for the essential role of theology in enlivening the church, I have slowly come to realize that the best examples of theological poetical essays are to be found in sermons and devotional writings, not in writing usually associated with systematic theology. A good sermon wrestles with profound theological questions, but with the language and images of a poetical essay, not scholarly discourse.